World Food Safety Day

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    Recently, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare attended the World Food Safety Day celebrations.

    • The observance is jointly facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    About World Food Safety Day

    • It is organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). 
      • In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that every June 7 would be celebrated as World Food Safety Day. 
    • It is observed annually on 7 June to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks.
    • This year’s World Food Safety Day theme – ‘Safe Food for a healthy tomorrow’
      • It highlights that the production and consumption of safe food has immediate and long-term benefits for people, the planet and the economy.
    • It aims to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.

     

    Significance of Food Safety 

    • The UN believes that access to sufficient amounts of safe food is the key to sustaining life and promoting good health.
    • Food safety is one of the determinants of a sound and cohesive healthcare system in a country. As food chains become longer, complex and globalized, contamination of food leading to foodborne diseases is a growing concern, costing us almost 15 billion USD annually. 
      • By 2030, foodborne diseases are expected to rise to 150 to 177 million annually.”
      • The burden of foodborne diseases was affecting children under the age of 5 and persons living in low-income counties.
        • An estimated 420 000 people around the world die every year after eating contaminated food and children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year.
    • Foodborne illnesses, caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites, are infectious and toxic.
      • They can enter the body through contaminated food and water. It is, therefore, important to ensure the food stays safe at every step of the food chain, from production to consumption.
    • Food safety must be integrated along the entire food chain, from farm to table, with the three sectors — government, industry and consumers — with all the three sharing equal responsibility. 
    • It is also necessary that food safety forms an essential component of health-based nutrition policies and nutrition education. 

     

    Initiative For Food Safety

    • Globally 
    • The Codex Alimentarius, or “Food Code” :
      • It is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. 
      • The Commission is a joint intergovernmental body of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO with 188 Member Countries and one Member Organization (The European Union). Codex has worked since 1963 to create harmonized international food standards to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair trade practices.
    • Indian Initiatives 
      • “Save Food, Share Food, Share Joy” -It was launched by the FSSAI in December 2017. 
        • It aims to promote food sharing among consumers and food businesses in India, while also targeting the coalition of food collection partners in the country to fight the issue of hunger and preventing food loss and food waste.
      • Eat Right India Movement:
        • It was launched by FSSAI in July 2018.
        • Tagline: ‘Sahi Bhojan. Behtar Jeevan’.
        • It aims to improve public health in India and combat negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases.
        • It adopts a judicious mix of regulatory, capacity building, collaborative and empowerment approach to ensure that the food is good both for the people and the planet.
      • State Food Safety Index
        • FSSAI has developed the State Food Safety Index to measure the performance of states on various parameters of Food Safety.  
        • This index is based on the performance of State/ UT on five significant parameters, namely, Human Resources and Institutional Data, Compliance, Food Testing – Infrastructure and Surveillance, Training & Capacity Building and Consumer Empowerment.
        •  The Index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model that provides an objective framework for evaluating food safety across all States/UTs.
    • Eat Right Mela
      • The Eat Right Mela would be conducted annually by FSSAI headquarters in New Delhi. 
    • This is an infotainment model of a street food festival to engage, excite and enable citizens to make the right food choices. 
    • The Mela provides an opportunity to learn about safe food and healthy diets, including quick tests for adulterants, health and nutrition benefits of food, dietary advice by experts, information on Government programmes and initiatives, and much more. 

    Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

    • It has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which consolidates various acts and orders that have hitherto handled food-related issues.
    • It works as an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
    • Aims:
      • To establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards.
      • To lay down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption

     

    Source: PIB